We’re reclaiming the land and engaging kids at R.A. Riddell School in Hamilton by ‘depaving paradise’ and creating a green space for kids to play, grow, learn and connect with the natural environment.
What is the problem?
Hard surfaces, such as driveways, parking lots and buildings interrupt the natural water cycle by preventing rainwater from soaking into the ground and creating heat sinks, warming up our cities. When rainwater flows over pavement it picks up a wide range of polluting materials, including motor oil, pet waste, and cigarette butts, which are delivered untreated through storm sewers directly into streams and lakes.
How will you solve it?
By removing pavement and replacing it with native gardens, we are restoring natural diversity, increasing the infiltration rate, recharging our groundwater supply, providing the opportunity for daily access to outdoor hands-on learning for students, and cooling our neighbourhoods by reducing the heat island effect.
We have been “depaving paradise” at schools across Hamilton, Ontario since 2012. Our experience working with schools in Hamilton brought to our attention the need for increased daily access to green space for students and the opportunity for hands-on ecological literacy.
We propose implementing a Depave Paradise project at R.A. Riddell Elementary School in Hamilton, ON. By depaving a school, we allow students the opportunity to integrate nature and the environment into their education while greening the school’s grounds.
Today’s children often have limited opportunities to connect with the natural environment. Children spend more time looking at screens than they do being physically active outside. In the past decade, the benefits of having daily contact with nature have been well documented and show that children’s social, psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted. A connection to the natural world is fundamental to all aspects of child development and is a key component to building optimal mental, emotional, social and physical health for every child.
Community gardening and beautification projects like these are proven to increase sense of community ownership and stewardship, foster the development of community identity, bring people with various background together to work on a common goal, and help build community leaders.
All funds raised on smallchangefund.org will go towards native species wildflowers, shrubs, trees, seating, interpretive site signage, and materials such as wood, mulch, and soil.
- Plants, shrubs and trees – $1500
- Seating – $1000
- Site Signage and Materials – $1000
- Small Change Fund fee – $35
- Credit card processing fees (3%) so that 100% of every donation you make goes directly to our project! – $105
Why Depave Paradise?
Over the long term, Depave Paradise projects help to:
- Increase green space
- Reverse the proliferation of hard surfaces and the simplification of ecosystems present in many of our cities
- Reduce and filter stormwater runoff and flooding to lower its impacts on our sewers, help improve community’s water quality, and restore the natural hydrologic cycle
- Increase opportunities for the school and community to connect and engage in outdoor activities
- Educate residents about the effects of stormwater runoff and benefits of permeable surfaces
- Engage, empower and inspire communities to reconnect urban landscapes to nature
- Aesthetic enhancement to area and psychosocial benefits associated with greenery
- Decrease the urban heat island effect to help cool things down
- Foster behavioural change and community engagement
- Create a sense of community through community space renewal and beautification
- Increase natural habitat for birds, bees and butterflies.
$20+ = Handwritten thank you note
$50+ = Handwritten thank you note, logo/name in annual report, logo/name on our website
$1000 + = Handwritten thank you note, logo/name in annual report, logo/name on our website, logo/name on permanent site signage, mention in all earned media and press releases